ADHD Awareness Month
Raising Awareness of ADHD
October is ADHD awareness month, it’s a good opportunity to raise awareness as it’s often misunderstood and misrepresented. ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. It’s not a mental health disorder or learning difficulty, but it is a neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect behaviour and concentration. In children, it is usually noticeable by the age of 6, here are some of the noticeable symptoms of ADHD in children from the NHS website:
- having a short attention span and being easily distracted
- making careless mistakes – for example, in schoolwork
- appearing forgetful or losing things
- being unable to stick to tasks that are tedious or time-consuming
- appearing to be unable to listen to or carry out instructions
- constantly changing activity or task
- having difficulty organising tasks
- being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
- constantly fidgeting
- being unable to concentrate on tasks
- excessive physical movement
- excessive talking
- being unable to wait their turn
- acting without thinking
- interrupting conversations
- little or no sense of danger
Here are some tips for parents and carers that have children with ADHD, or suspected ADHD from Young Minds:
Be aware of the common traits and behaviours of ADHD.
Build trust with the young person or child, this could be through an activity rather than sitting and talking if they find that easier.
- Consider the challenges. Be aware that the extra challenges a young person faces due to ADHD can make them more vulnerable to low self-esteem, anxiety or depression. Keep an eye out for changes in behaviour.
- Listen: Show you are listening to what a young person is sharing with you, repeat back what you have heard to check your understanding and keep your body language open. Encourage them to talk about their feelings and emotions.
Share resources or information
Share resources or information about support that you think they may find helpful. For example, this mood battery resource was initially developed by a professional with ADHD to help manage her feelings throughout the day. However, please be mindful of misinformation online and on social media, and check all sources of advice.
Talk about seeking professional help from your GP.
If you are concerned about ADHD, it is best to ask your GP or health professional for advice.
For more support with ADHD, please see the follow support pages:
AADD-UK Has a list of support groups for parents and carers across the UK.
ADHD UK has resources on diagnosis, education and employment.
ADHD and You has useful information and support for parents of children with ADHD.